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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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142 Squadron Wellington X HZ311 Sgt. Henry Lincoln Pleydell

Operation: Naples

Date: 20/21st June 1943 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No. 142 Squadron (motto: 'Determination')

Type: Wellington X

Serial: HZ311

Code: QT-F

Base: RAF Kairouan West, Tunisia

Location: Mediterranean Sea

Pilot: Sgt. Henry Lincoln Pleydell Aus/408515 RAAF Age 23. Survived

Nav: Sgt. Howard Walter Gee Aus/413980 RAAF Age 21. Survived

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Arthur Emlyn Evans (later 156047 after commissioned) RAFVR Age? Survived

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Slater RAFVR Age? Survived

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas Joseph Lynch Aus/414807 RAAF Age 21. Survived


Taking off at 20:45 hrs from the North African base to bomb the marshalling yards in Napoli.

On their return trip they ran out of fuel and were forced to ditch after one engine failed.

The squadron searched for them and spotted the crew in a dingy. A 283 squadron Walrus picked the crew up the following day, none of the crew suffered injuries.

Above L-R: Sgt. Thomas Lynch, Sgt. John Slater, Sgt. Henry Pleydell, Sgt. Arthur Evans and Sgt. Howard Gee (courtesy NAA via Simon Clegg)

Crew details:

Henry Lincoln Pleydell was born on the 12th March 1923 in Maffra, Victoria, Australia. He survived the war and passed away on the 04th of September 1992, age 69.
Howard Walter Gee was born on the 13th of November 1922 in Randwick, New South Wales, Australia. He survived the war only to die from multiple injuries after a motor accident on the Ipswich Road, Annerley on the 25th December 1945 at 00:30 hrs, age 23. The service vehicle 212595 overturned. (Fractured pelvis, fractured right femur and left tibia). Son of Walter Ernest Gee (died 01st May 1958) and Evelyn Constance (née Bullock - died 27th August 1957, age 60) of Kogarah, New South Wales.Passengers William Watson, Henry Roper, Howard Barton, Alex Gove of the Royal Navy. David Brender Brennan MiD. of 38 squadron were seriously injured. 23 year old, Frank Easthope of the Royal Navy was also killed. Son of Frank and Marion Easthope, of Liverpool, England and husband of Margaret Easthope, of Wavertree, Liverpool, England.

Above; Newspaper report and medals of Arthur Emlyn Evans (Courtesy Simon Clegg.)

Arthur Emlyn Evans. Understood to have survived the war as a Flying Officer. The only son of Mr and Mrs John Evans of Corner House, Newchapel, Staffordshire, England.
John Slater from Sussex. Understood to have survived the war but no further details.
Thomas Joseph Lynch born on the 04th March 1912 in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia. Worked as a clerk prior to service. Enlisted on the 09th November 1941. Later joined 460 Squadron. Shot down on the 28th April 1944 whilst a rear gunner on Lancaster III LM523 AR-L2. He was the sole survivor and took PoW. He had suffered multiple injuries and had a leg amputated on the 0th May 1944. He spent the rest of the war as a prisoner in various hospitals and was transferred to Stalag IXC shortly before he was repatriated to England in early 1945. Lynch then returned to Australia and was discharged from the Royal Australian Air Force on the 20th February 1946. Moved to Sydney, New South Wales, where he worked as a clerk. He married Shirley Mildred Jordan in November 1951, and they settled and raised their family in Cronulla, New South Wales. He died on the 14th of November 1994, age 82 and was buried at Woronora Memorial Park, Sutherland, New South Wales.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Simon Clegg for bringing this loss to our attention, National Archives Kew, International Bomber Command Centre IBCC, National Archives Australia NAA,

Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 06-04-2023

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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